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Regarding chaff flamewars
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Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 08:24:49 MST Print View

Well, Miguel and I just tangled back and forth in a thread down the page a bit- mostly due to a series of misunderstandings. I've also tangled at times with Arapiles, the various "Daves" (YKWYA), Juston, and LORD KNOWS I've tangled with Rog. :o) Etc.

Anyway, I often hear people complain about non-UL topics being discussed in chaff, with statements like "What does this have to do with UL?" Etc. And I just wanted to make it clear that I, personally, enjoy discussing non-hiking subjects with BPL members on occasion. It's been my experience that BPL members are very much a "higher class of people" than those on most other forums and they generally have something interesting and intelligent to say on almost any topic. Certainly, they are better than the doodz that infest Whiteblaze and other such sites. In fact, I'm almost tempted to try and "keep BPL a secret" so that it doesn't turn into Whiteblaze.

Yes misunderstandings happen, and people will get snitty about some subjects, etc. But I've almost never been disappointed by someone's lack of maturity. Certainly all of the regulars I mentioned are good about admitting if they are wrong or just sounding like a jackass, and also good about agreeing to disagree when they come to that point.

The only downside is that the more heated chaff discussions can clog the Recent Posts page- but to me that's a small price to pay, even if it is a discussion that I'm not interested in that's doing the clogging.

I've had people here express to me both privately and on public forums that they think chaff is out of hand, and they might stop coming to BPL for a while, etc. I encourage anyone thinking about this to reconsider. Brothers and Sisters, compared to its competing websites BPL chaff most definitely is NOT out of hand...

And, well, it's chaff. Don't read it. I know that can sound like disingenuous advice, since you may not know how a thread is going to progress until you do read it, but I think you all understand my point.


Edited by acrosome on 03/05/2010 08:26:10 MST.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 08:34:49 MST Print View

What does this have to do with backpacking? ;)

Seriously, this is the most polite, well behaved forum i have ever seen. Even discussions that get heated are settled amicably.

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
hmmm on 03/05/2010 08:35:11 MST Print View

Honestly, I can't believe how far down the rabbits hole you all went with the subject of guns in NP'S...

the thread "because I can" is just an exercise of less than intelligent thought... and the true def. of chaff... why do we encourage this mindless crap?

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 08:45:09 MST Print View

I find it interesting that I pick up on some little tidbits of information that I never would have bothered to seek out. I don't really have time to check out dozens of forums, just stick to a handful, and this forum seems to cover a lot of topics, usually in a civil manner.

At least I can't recall being called a damned idiot or that I'm going to burn in hell's flames for being an atheist.

It would be nice if there was an option to block out the Chaff subforum when you pull up recent posts, but I probably wouldn't be able to resist looking and would be sneaking a peek anyway.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Chaff on 03/05/2010 08:46:32 MST Print View

This is a rare topic that I see in black or white.

A. Continue with Chaff and leave people alone to discuss, debate, and yell at each other about whatever they want for as long as they want.

B. If people seriously feel that Chaff is too off-topic and creates too much non-backpacking noise on this site, then dump it and have the site moderators and members strictly patrol the forums and give people the boot or a stern talkin' to for straying off topic.

To create some system in which BPL tries to moderate the degree to which something is off topic is a ridiculous and unrealistic proposition.

Personally, I could care less either way.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: hmmm on 03/05/2010 08:52:20 MST Print View

Wow, Jesse. If you go and check out the last few pages of the "because I can" thread- the discussion of religion- I don't see how you can call it "less than intelligent". I find it fascinating. The gun stuff yes may have been pointless, but the discussion mutated into something civil and interesting.

So, don't read chaff. :o)

Edited by acrosome on 03/05/2010 08:52:54 MST.

Ryan Linn

Locale: Maine!
Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 09:17:48 MST Print View

>In fact, I'm almost tempted to try and "keep BPL a secret" so that it doesn't turn into Whiteblaze

I couldn't agree more. I hadn't thought of it much before, but you're right. When it gets to the point that any post gets answered by the same five or ten people, all saying something inflammatory or making an absolute judgment... well, then you know all is lost :)

As for clogging the "Recent Posts" page. No problem. Just hit that "Recent Threads" link at the top of the page, and all those threads that get too many replies don't clutter everything up. I've noticed the subject lines on that "because I can" thread over the past day or two, and happily stayed away from there. The subject lines have been pretty amusing, though... "god" "abortion" "guns" and so on. I can tell I don't want to spend much time in that thread.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 09:36:05 MST Print View

I, too, sometimes get annoyed by the clogging of chaff topics in the Recent Threads page, especially for topics that seem inane to me. However, people here in BPL have become my friends. They are more than just sources of UL information; some of them I've known for many years and I look forward to interacting with them everyday. A few, like Arapiles and Brett, I've actually met in person, and quite a few more I'd like to meet in the future, especially for a hike. I don't get much chance to have intellectual discourse with people here in Japan because Japanese don't like contention of any kind, and so rarely discuss anything deeper than buying things or food or going places. That's fun, too, but I'd also like to think a bit and to bounce thoughts and ideas and opinions off others who can challenge what's on my mind. I love learning things, even things that often start me off furious, like the guns topics. Believe it or not, by interacting with people like Dean I've actually learned something that I wouldn't have thought to try to learn otherwise. And Chaff is the only place to do this.

My suggestion would be to keep chaff for those who want this venue for talking non-backpacking topics with their friends, but to keep it within a sticky link on the Recent Threads page so that all the chaff threads' titles don't hog the Recent Threads page. That way chaff readers can easily access their threads and stay visible on the Recent Threads page without annoying everyone else. How does that sound?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 10:03:31 MST Print View

Everyone has a computer and have complete control of pushing the Left mouse button. If a thread goes down a path you do not like, then don't push the button.

It seems pretty simple to me.

Also, don't take these things personal.

If a remark offends you, it can only offend you if you let it.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 10:16:03 MST Print View

Chaff serves an important function of corralling non-backpacking topics into a single, well-defined branch -- and that helps greatly to keep all other branches on topic.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 11:27:45 MST Print View

I'd much rather keep Chaff. Even though I don't get into the heavier discussions too often, they can be informative and interesting to read. I like seeing a crazy discussion or argument, and then all of a sudden someone's like, "group hug!" I've seen that a bunch of times.

I'd also rather have the "civilized" flame wars than repeats of what happened yesterday with that guy asking for all sorts of free stuff. I know there are special occasions (like Don's case) that are fine in my book, but I really think that BPL is NOT the place to solicit in that context. Not to sound cold-hearted towards people in need, but this is simply not the place for it. (And that guy pi$$ed me off anyways.)

P.S. "pi$$ed" is considered profanity?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 14:41:14 MST Print View

> Chaff serves an important function of corralling non-backpacking topics into a
> single, well-defined branch -- and that helps greatly to keep all other branches on topic.


Edited by rcaffin on 03/05/2010 14:41:33 MST.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Chaff on 03/05/2010 16:19:03 MST Print View

I often read these threads, although they sometimes make me want to poke my eyes out with a pen :) I read them to expose myself to a range of ideas and to practice seeing the world through other people's reality tunnels. The aim is to widen my own reality tunnel and to prevent myself believing in anything with 100% certainty.

I don't however participate for the following reasons:

1. I don't have the time and the energy.
2. The web doesn't seem a very good forum for debate to me.
3. They often seem to me to become just territorial disputes - smart chimps lost in space anyone.
4. A few posters seem to me rather aggressive and with very strong territorial circuit imprints and I personally prefer to steer clear of them. That is not to say they aren't intelligent and articulate and that I haven't learnt from them, or that they haven't made me think. They have, but I just don't want to hang out with them so to speak :).

Generally I am impressed with how civil things stay. However, I do think it is a little naive to believe that just because it all takes place in a separate forum called chaff, that it has no effect at all on the other forums. However, I still support keeping a chaff forum though as it keeps these things out of the main forums. How about a chaff free version of the recent posts page to avoid the clogging effect?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/05/2010 20:16:22 MST Print View

I like chaff. It's interesting, funny, very human, odd, quite intelligent, stupefyingly inane. It's the BPL soaps (only much better than General Hospital!). Or, it's the cheap beer portion of BPL -- a bit of it makes your head feel a little fuzzy, but too much of it and you'll regret it in the morning.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/06/2010 22:21:39 MST Print View

Chaff blows.

Juston Taul

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/06/2010 23:10:00 MST Print View

Where do I find this so called "chaff"? ;)

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 03/06/2010 23:12:53 MST Print View

The address is:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Juston Taul

Locale: Atlanta, GA
lol on 03/06/2010 23:22:16 MST Print View

Nice! :D

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 06/07/2013 06:21:55 MDT Print View

Bump. So timely

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Regarding chaff flamewars on 06/07/2013 08:28:02 MDT Print View

I like Chaff......a lot!

My mom said life is like a box of choc....

Everyone here seems so much smarter than me.

I learn things. It makes me laugh. I post things that might otherwise twirl around in my head for days. Sometimes it points me to videos that I like. Sometimes it makes me sad like when a dog dies. Sometimes there are interesting photos and avatars. I'm happy with my allocation of time to chaff.

Some of you must read it even though you don't like it, think it is rubbish and should be removed? How's that working for you?